Bill Introduced to Stem Mounting Highway Accidents; Stiff Penalties Sought

Traffic violations were the subject of an angry exchange in the Knesset yesterday between Transport Minister Shimon Peres and Uri Avneri representing the New Left Haolam Hazeh faction. Mr. Avneri, who is anti-establishment on virtually every issue, opposed a bill introduced by Mr. Peres providing stiffer penalties for traffic offenders. The Transport Minister claimed that Mr. Avneri was issued 105 traffic summonses in a single year and that only his parliamentary immunity protected him from prosecution. Avneri demanded that the Knesset speaker publish a complete list of traffic offenses committed by all Knesset members. Mr. Peres hopes his new bill will stem the rising toll of highway fatalities and injuries. It would empower police officers to suspend the drivers license of an offender for 30 days pending trial and would make it mandatory for the courts to revoke the licenses of periodic offenders and persons involved in serious traffic violations. Punishment would be most severe for offenses committed with stolen vehicles. Minor traffic violations would be punishable with suspended license revocations.

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